Six months ago, veteran media broker Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications was consulted by several private equity holders who had taken on Cumulus Media debt. Many of these debtholders were going to stay invested in a “new” Cumulus — a post-bankruptcy entity under CEO Mary Berner. These brokers had one big question on their minds: What do we do when Cumulus’ top 15 market stations don’t make any money?
Patrick responded to an idea floated by one of the equity holders: Paring most, but not all, of the top 15 markets was a better solution than just selling off the lower 25% of the company’s markets. This was based on the premise that the cash flow would not change much, and that — in this equity holder’s view — Cumulus could further reduce its debt.
There’s debate as to whether or not that is starting to happen.
Meanwhile, another media broker who requested anonymity — in addition to a market observer close to the matter — are certain Cox Media Group is ready to say goodbye to at least two of its radio markets. This should please Caroline Beasley.